Jamison City, Eureka Mills, Johnstown and the Famous Eureka Mine ( No. 196 California Historical Landmark)
California Historical Landmarks Program
Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region
2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California
3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder.
California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks. The Chamber of Commerce then created a committee of prestigious historians, including DeWitt Hutchings and Lawrence Hill, to evaluate potential landmark sites.
In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.
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Four historical sites are grouped together in this marked site because they were located about half-mile apart. Today these sites surround or have become part of Plumas-Eureka State Park. Johnstown is now called Johnsville and is home to less than a dozen residents. The town remains a throwback to its founding date of 1876. Johnstown sits at the northern end of the Mother Lode – the term used to describe the wide belt of gold that ran the length of the Sierra Nevada.
All that remains of Jamison City have vanished. The two clues that the mining camp had ever existed is a small, hidden trail from one mining camp to another and a small pile of stones placed where the mining operations used to be. Jamison City draws its fame from the discovery of a 52-pound gold nugget.
The Eureka Quartz vein was discovered in 1851 and very quickly became the center of attention as settlers swarmed into California from anywhere. The Eureka Mine yielded $17 million in its productive lifetime. Both the Plumas–Eureka Mine and Jamison City continued mining operations until the early 1900s.
The historical landmark is located inside of Plumas Eureka State Park in Blairsden.
El Rio de las Plumas, “The river of feathers,” lends its name to Plumas County. Captain Luis Arguello named the river, having been impressed by the many floating feathers on the water. Plumas County also contains Beckwourth Pass, the lowest summit of the High Sierra, which quickly became a favorite route of wagon trains.
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